Giovanni Character profile

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Giovanni (name means 'young man' in italian)

Is at the start of the play shown as a young man already in his decline. The Friar recalls 'how did the university applaud' and his own sister does not recognise him. (Although this is ambigous, she could not recognise him straight away because he has spent time away at uni or because he is declining and so 'wrapped up in grief.') Ford's original audience would have explained his decline in two ways:

1. The stereotype of a uni student was brooding melancholy, self-isolatgion and asceticism( self discipline and avoiding any form of indulgence).

2. His tears and sighs are all signs of an unrequited and unsatisifed lover. A parrellel to Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. When his father looks for him he has been told he has retreated to a Sycamore tree which has been identified with the meloncholic lover. 

However what distinguishes Giovanni from the typical meloncholy student and lover is incest. It is incest throughout the play that acts a catalyst for his decline. At the start of the play it is clear he has good arguing skills and can reason properly yet through defending incest his ability to reason because duller and duller until he is arguing out of absurdity. He also undermines his faith and the


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